Results 1–20 of 4060 for speaker:Keith Hill

Iraq (Humanitarian Aid) (7 Apr 2010)

Keith Hill: I mean it when I say that it is an honour to speak my final words in this Chamber, and indeed the House, under your chairmanship, Mr. Howarth. Four weeks and three days ago, on Sunday 7 March, I was in Iraq as an election monitor for Iraq's second set of parliamentary elections since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. My election observation took place in the Kurdish city of Dohuk,...

Iraq (Humanitarian Aid) (7 Apr 2010)

Keith Hill: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that intervention, and for his exceptionally kind words. We are close constituency neighbours in south-west London. The answer to his precise question is yes. The matter of direct air flights from the UK to the Kurdish region was raised with me, specifically flights to Erbil. The hon. Gentleman may be aware that Austrian Airlines has three direct...

Written Answers — Work and Pensions: Streatham (23 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to Streatham constituency, the effects on that constituency of changes to her Department's policies since 1997.

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr. Cook, as I have on a number of other occasions. As this is likely to be my final appearance in Westminster Hall, I am particularly pleased that you are chairing our debate. I am sure that you and other Members present share my sadness at the news of the death of Michael Foot, a former Labour party leader and a great parliamentarian. Right...

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: Not at this early stage. I have plenty to say, and I shall yield the Floor to Opposition Members once I have developed my argument a little further. The communications allowance was ushered in by the Puttnam Commission on the Communication of Parliamentary Democracy in 2005, introduced as recently as April 2007 and endorsed by the Senior Salaries Review Body less than a year ago. It has been...

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: I find that to be a somewhat predictable intervention. I shall deal with the points raised by the hon. Gentleman in due course.

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: No. I think that the decision to scrap the communications allowance is wrong, and I want to explain why. The communications it funds between an MP and his or her constituents are of great importance to democratic accountability. What is more important at this time than the links of accountability between MPs and their constituents? In passing, the withdrawal of the communications allowance...

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: I shall not give way. The truth is that, against such well heeled campaigns, the communications allowance is not much, but it at least offers a line of defence against the attempted purchase of parliamentary seats. I remind the House that I make my case for the communications allowance-

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: I was about to remind the House that I make my case for the communications allowance on entirely disinterested grounds. Members may be aware that I announced some two years ago that I would retire at the general election, so I have no personal stake in the allowance. I make the case for it because it is right in democratic principle and because I believe its withdrawal could lead to...

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: I am glad that I allowed the hon. Gentleman to intervene at that point. I mentioned that the communications allowance came in on the back of Lord Puttnam's commission's work on Parliament and communications, which concluded that both the institution and MPs needed to be better equipped to communicate with the public about the workings of democracy. It is surely irrefutable in principle that...

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: I served with the hon. Gentleman on the European Scrutiny Committee, which was of course an enormous pleasure, so I will give way to him, but to nobody else.

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: I concede that a small number of colleagues have overstepped the mark. However, I am sure that in 2008-09, when the hon. Gentleman spent substantial sums of his communications allowance on communicating with his constituents, which I notice he has now ceased to do-presumably in the light of his leader's pronouncements on these matters-his communications were entirely about democratic...

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: I will, because I have actually made a charge.

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: I have to draw a line under accepting further interventions, at least at this early stage. I have plenty to say and we are beginning to hear a very similar message from those who are intervening on me. The point I seek to make is that communicating that type of information is a response to the familiar cry of, "We only see you when you want our vote." It is a means of engaging the public in...

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: I will give way to the hon. Member for Northampton, South (Mr. Binley), but I hope that he will be brief.

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that intervention. Let the hon. Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mr. Field) have his say.

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman, who has made a reasonable intervention, as I would expect from my long knowledge and observation of him. I intend to come on to some of those points about the advantages that may or may not be conferred on incumbents. However, let me return to my point about transients. I would be grateful to learn from IPSA how MPs in seats such as mine can be expected to...

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: Thank you, Mr. Cook. Let me reprise that quotation from Lord Rennard: "Between 1883 and 2000, effective legislation was in place to deal with some of the problems of using money to buy undue influence in a particular constituency. Inadvertently, the trigger was removed in 2000". -[Official Report, House of Lords, 5 May 2009; Vol. 710, c. GC210.] The "trigger" has not been restored and the...

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: Thank you for that advice, Mr. Cook. I want to go on immediately to the communications allowance and point out that, against such expenditure as I have just described, the average expenditure of £8,000 through the parliamentary communications allowance in 2008-09 looks pretty minor, although I would maintain that for many sitting MPs that expenditure represents their best hope of securing at...

Communications Allowance — [Frank Cook in the Chair] (3 Mar 2010)

Keith Hill: I want point out, Mr. Cook, that during that three-year period, when my constituents have been subject to this deluge of Lib Dem propaganda, I have been able to spend money, through the communications allowance, on about nine A4 newsletters. In that time, I have spent less than £30,000 through the communications allowance. That contrasts with a staggering total of £283,494.64 in the same...


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